April 26, 2018 9:40 pm
We have a lot of fantastic guests on StarTalk, but occasionally we get someone who is a living legend. This week, Neil deGrasse Tyson sits down with legendary primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall.
In order to discuss the impact of Jane’s work and legacy, Neil is joined by comic co-host Chuck Nice, biological anthropologist Dr. Jill Pruetz, and primatologist and All-Stars host Natalia Reagan.
You’ll hear about Jane’s early beginnings as an explorer – observing hens when she was 4-years-old – and how she began her chimpanzee research in the 1960s without any formal training.
One of my favorite parts of the episode was when Jane explains how she earned the trust of the chimpanzees she was studying – an incredible example of the dedication, patience, and mindfulness of scientific research.
We also discuss the scientific impact of one of her greatest discoveries: tool use amongst chimps. This leads into a very interesting conversation on the dividing lines between humans and the rest of the animal kingdom. As you’ll hear, spoken language seems to be the main divider of what makes us “human” as we continue to understand more and more about the natural world. However, is that enough? What truly makes us human? Is being human even special?
Later, Natalia visits Sarah Baeckler and Project Chimps – a 236-acre chimp sanctuary in the woods of Georgia – to watch new chimps being introduced to the grounds. Then, Neil and Chuck play a game of “Chimp Chat” where they guess the meaning behind chimp sounds.
Last, but not least, Jane Goodall submits a Cosmic Query for Neil, and Neil asks her if she is our best hope to communicate with aliens. Tune in!
Please join us tomorrow night for Into the Wild, with Jane Goodall at 7pm ET right here on our website, as well as on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and TuneIn. If you’re an All-Access subscriber, you can watch or listen to this episode ad-free at 7pm, too.
That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
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